The twelve instructors at Yoga Innovations help guide students of all experience levels to greater fitness and healthier lifestyles via challenging and nurturing yoga sessions. Instructors specialize in power yoga of all types, from Vinyasa flow?which shepherds students through a series of difficult poses in 90+ degrees?to unheated prenatal yoga, a variation designed to help pregnant women mindfully battle the aches, pains, and pickle-juice cravings associated with pregnancy. No matter what style they practice, students reap the many benefits of yogic practice, which range from boosted stamina, power, and flexibility to increased calm and a stronger mind-body connection.
One step inside The Hott Spot Extreme Wellness and your instincts will likely kick in and recommend a good HVAC guy. That's because the yoga studio's thermostat reads 95 degrees. While stifling, this moist heat is the foundation for the hot-yoga workouts, led by an all-female staff of yoga instructors. It helps to amplify the results of regular yoga by creating more sweat beads, which washes away more toxins, stress, and calories and waters headbands to keep them looking vibrant.
Rebecca Rankin and Lisa Lau came out of college prepared to be an architect and an engineer, respectively. Today, they own Bikram Yoga Squirrel Hill. Their goals haven't changed much, though—Rebecca specializes in the architecture of the human body, and Lisa studies its engineering, teaching students how to bend and breathe during each 90-minute class.
These classes are held in a studio heated to around 105 degrees. But newcomers to the practice needn't worry—as the space's website says, "The heat is not there to make it tough, it is there to help." As participants move through the 26 asanas, or postures, of Bikram yoga, the heat loosens up their muscles and encourages a detoxifying sweat, allowing for deeper stretches and a smoother post-workout slip-and-slide ride. Rebecca, Lisa, and their fellow instructors limit their class sizes to better personalize their guidance, and welcome guests of all skill levels to attend any session.
The proud and pliable recipient of a yoga mat's worth of accolades, Amazing Yoga spreads its limber arms to embrace all practitioners, welcoming stretching sophomores and savants alike. Talented, passionate instructors lead an array of classes over a flexible schedule at each of Amazing Yoga's four studios. Clients can frequent the studio of their choice and stack their chakras in classes such as the Basics, a beginner's power-yoga class that emphasizes foundation postures, helping practitioners build up a strong foundation to withstand floods, high winds, and tickling attacks. Amazing Yoga recommends bringing your own water bottle and a mat to classes, though rental mats are available for $2 per class.
Ever since he suffered a life-threatening accident at age 7, Ignacio Filippini has lived with orthopedic challenges. It took him until his 20s, but he finally found relief in Bikram yoga, a simple, yet challenging exercise technique that helped him ease his chronic pain while boosting his physical and mental fitness. The rest is history?Ignacio began studying with senior instructors who taught him not only the basics of teaching yoga, but the intricacies of working with those of all ages, backgrounds, and mental and physical abilities. To develop his ability to help women ease the pain and stress of pregnancy, he also trained with Rajashree Choudhury, a yoga expert who has created a modified form of Bikram yoga for mothers-to-be.
At Bikram Yoga Mt. Lebanon, the studio that Ignacio now owns and leads, students master 26 poses and two breathing exercises in a welcoming atmosphere that opens minds?and a high-temperature environment that cleans out the cardiovascular system. A team of certified instructors guides pupils through the flexibility-boosting movements of Bikram yoga in a spotless, spacious studio.
Yoga H'om's instructors continually encourage students to push the limits of their abilities by patiently introducing new skill sets to beginners and challenging seasoned yogis to perfect advanced maneuvers in a safe and supportive atmosphere. Teachers encourage their pupils to develop at their own pace and learn from one another during all-levels classes, which include Vinyasa-style Yoga Flow sessions, where attendees link one pose to the next with transitional movements that require intense focus and balance. During gentle yin yoga classes, beginning, injured, or physically disabled students can ease into mild stretches with the use of props, and experienced pupils can use the meditative session as an opportunity to wind down following vigorous flow classes. Regardless of the style, instructors in each session emphasize mindful breathing techniques and conclude with a period of deep relaxation that lasts just long enough for attendees to shake that song that has been stuck in their head.